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Ukraine war: Why Bakhmut matters for Russia and Ukraine | BBC News |

Russian commanders want to take Bakhmut for military reasons. They hope it might give them a springboard for further territorial gains. As the UK Ministry of Defence noted in December, capturing the city "would potentially allow Russia to threaten the larger urban areas of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 26th, 2023 at 06:18:03 AM EST
NY Yella Cake | If a Divided Germany Could Enter NATO, Why Not Ukraine?, 26 May
Frozen Curtain Option
"When West Germany joined NATO, there was what you could call a monumental frozen conflict," she said. "And yet it was felt very important to anchor West Germany in the Western alliance, and so West Germany joined. The Russians complained about it and said it was very dangerous, but they were powerless to prevent it."
Zelensk* in the ROLE of Adenauer? idunno about that.
Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of West Germany, ["]chose["] security over territory, and Germans supported him, re-electing him until he resigned in 1963.
temporarily US-occupied FRG, temporarily RU-occupied DDR
"Adenauer decided that it was more important to have a solid defense agreement with the West and led West Germany into NATO," said François Heisbourg, a French defense expert. "It was a brave decision, because it meant unity wasn't going to happen easily."
Ukraine is of course a different case. When West Germany joined NATO, it was not at war with East Germany and both enTItiEs had been recognized as individual states in 1949, said M.E. Sarotte, author of a diplomatic history, "Not One Inch," about the enlargement of NATO, German reunification and the Russian responses.
wsj | China, Pushing Ukraine Cease-Fire, Gets Cool Reception in Europe, 26 May
Strategic Autonomy Zone (SAZ) Option
Diplomat Li Hui, who has visited Kyiv, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, and Brussels this month, urged European governments to view China as an economic alternative to Washington and said they should move quickly to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine before it spreads, those officials said. Li was due to travel to Moscow on Friday.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on May 25, 2023
TASS: Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui said yesterday at a meeting with the German side on the Ukraine crisis in Berlin that "China encourages European countries to start looking at the root causes of the crisis to find a way to sort out high and low priorities and supports their efforts to ensure long-term stability on the European continent". Could you share more with us on that? What do you think is the root causes of the Ukraine crisis? ....
"We explained that freezing the conflict is not in the interest of the international community unless there is withdrawal of Russian troops," a diplomat who spoke to Li said. The diplomat said Li was told "it's impossible to split Europe from [US] America" and that Europe wouldn't withdraw support from Ukraine.
our sanctions, our interest rate hikes, our inflation, our "ammo-buying scheme" don't affect ...
"RUSSIA'S BRUTAL WAR AGAINST UKRAINE is making the context for the EU-China relationship more complex," the EU's trade chief, Valdis Dombrovskis, said Thursday. He said he conveyed that message to Wang [Wentao], China's commerce minister, during a meeting last month.
The EU is preparing an economic security strategy, due next month, that appears set to bring the bloc closer to the U.S. in its approach to China.
mfocom.cn | Significant News
Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao Chairs a Meeting with US Companies (23.05.23)
commerce.gov | Readout of Secretary Raimondo's Meeting with Ministry of Commerce Minister Wang Wentao (25.05.23)
EU and U.S. officials are set to discuss trade relations with China during a high-level meeting of the Trade and Technology Council in northern Sweden next week. The EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, who will attend the meeting in Sweden, said Thursday that Europe is now following some of its Western allies in taking a more cautious approach toward China. She said the bloc wants to protect trade with China that it doesn't see as risky and to be more precise in identifying the ["anti-coercion"] areas that pose concerns for Europe's economic security.
by Cat on Fri May 26th, 2023 at 10:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, 14-26 May 2023

Beijing, Seoul Agree on Semiconductor Industry Chains Amid China-US Chip Race, 27 May

Wang told reporters that the issue topped the agenda of his talks with his South Korean counterpart Ahn Duk-geun on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Detroit, which wrapped up on Friday. The Chinese commerce minister added that during the negotiations, the sides exchanged views on maintaining the stability of the semiconductor industry supply chains, as well as boosting cooperation in bilateral, regional and multilateral fields. According to him, China is ready to deepen trade ties and investment cooperation with South Korea.
Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, told reporters that "as the Asia-Pacific region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, our agenda will provide an opportunity for members to engage and zero in on how we can ensure international cross-border trade flows smoothly, and how trade can help us address the region's most pressing challenges from climate change to economic inequality."
APEC (1989 FTA): CN, CN-hk, CN-tw, RU, ID, SG, VN, TH, PH, MX, PE, CL, BN, PG, MY, KR; US, AU, JP, NZ, CA
yonhap | Seoul's trade minister holds talks with U.S. counterpart over IRA, IPEF, 27 May
On the sidelines of a meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers in Detroit earlier this week, Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun also discussed issues related to the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). Ahn also held talks with China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao over bilateral economic cooperation.
IPEF (2022 NGO): US, AU, JP, IN, NZ, KR, FJ, ID, BN, MY, PH, SG, TH, VN, CA*
During the meeting, Ahn asked for support for stable supply of key raw materials and parts, according to the ministry.
GT | Meeting between China's commerce minister and US trade representative sends positive signals, while US urged to keep commitments, 27 May
China's Minister of Commerce (MOFCOM) Wang Wentao met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Friday, as both sides held "candid, pragmatic and in-depth" discussions on China-US economic and trade relations along with regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest, the ministry said on Saturday.

The Chinese side expressed concerns on key issues, including the US economic and trade policies toward China, Taiwan-related topics in the economic and trade field, the Indo-Pacific economic framework and Section 301 tariffs, MOFCOM said in a statement [not found EN/mfocom - mcs], stressing that both sides agreed to maintain communication.

Experts noted that the in-person meeting, followed by Wang's talk with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Washington while attending the 2023 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Detroit, signaling positive signs under the important consensus reached by the two heads of state in Bali, Indonesia last year, while urging the US to fulfill its commitments with consistent actions.

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) also released a readout on Friday

Ambassador Tai highlighted the need to address the critical imbalances caused by China's state-led, non-market [?] approach to the economy and trade policy. She also raised concerns about PRC actions taken against U.S. companies operating there. Ambassador Tai emphasized the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China and building on the engagement between President Biden and President Xi in < wipes tears > Bali, Indonesia, in November 2022.
stressing that Tai discussed the importance of the US-China trade relationship in the global economy and the need for both sides to continue engaging with one another.
APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Chair's Statement, 26 May
All APEC ministers responsible for trade agreed to paragraphs 1 - 3 and 5 - 13.*

1. We, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), met in Detroit, Michigan, the United States of America from 25-26 May 2023, chaired by Ambassador Katherine Tai. We welcomed participation in the meeting of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). We express our collective appreciation to the City of Detroit for the warm welcome extended for this meeting....

* buzz kill
4. As our Leaders highlighted last November, we have witnessed the war in Ukraine further adversely impact the global economy. There was a discussion on the issue. We reiterated our positions as expressed in other fora, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, which, in Resolution No. ES-11/1 dated 2 March 2022, as adopted by majority vote (141 votes for, 5 against, 35 abstentions, 12 absent) deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine. Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy—constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognizing that APEC is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.[1]
- - - - - - -
1. Paragraph 4 of this document, taken from the APEC Bangkok Leaders' Declaration from November 19, 2022, was agreed to by all member economies except the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation.
by Cat on Sun May 28th, 2023 at 10:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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